Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Visit To Yarnick’s Farm For Local Lettuce

As you know, I enjoy visiting with our local vegetable growers. After working with them for years, they have become close friends and I truly appreciate what they do for Eat’n Park. Their knowledge of farming continues to enlighten me every time I visit with them. 

My visit today was to Yarnick’s Farm in Indiana, PA. I’ve always admired their innovative and creative ways of extending the growing season, but for some reason I’ve overlooked their lettuce growing capabilities. Eat’n Park goes through quite a bit of lettuce, and until now, 100% of it was grown in California. That’s about to change.

Yarnick's field cover
One of the innovations that the Yarnick’s have put in place is a field cover that helps them start their crops earlier than most farms. This field cover allows them to grow four crops in the same field during one growing season. 

Yarnick's leaf lettuce
The reason for my visit today was to understand their capacity for growing lettuce. The Yarnick's are growing one acre of lettuce, which yields 1,600 heads. That’s a lot of lettuce, and luckily for us, it means that they’ll be able to supply our restaurants with their local crop! Within the next 3 weeks, this little seedling will find its home at your local Eat’n Park. I’m so excited and hope that you are too. 

In addition to the lettuce, we saw quite a bit more at Yarnick’s that I’ll tell you about in a future blog.

Until next time,
Jamie 

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Team Smiley Celebrates The 115th Anniversary Of The Pittsburgh Zoo

Hello friends! It’s Smiley here, to tell you all about my wonderful trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium! I was there with my crew to celebrate the zoo’s 115th anniversary on Saturday June 15th. What a great day to be at the zoo—we got to see all kinds of animals! I even got to go into the petting zoo to see the goats. But my favorite animals to see were definitely the sea lions.

Sea lions at the Pittsburgh Zoo
I made lots of friends, too. Team Smiley was there to hand out cookies to all the people who passed by our tent. Some of them even won really cool prizes playing Smiley Plinko! Other kids played Smiley cornhole or hula hooped.

Everyone loves to hula hoop
I loved walking between the reptile house and the sea lion window. I got to meet a lot of the zoo keepers who work with all the animals. I found out that even Molly the camel loves Smiley Cookies! I tried posing for a picture with her but she wouldn’t look, so instead I took a picture with one of my new friends!

Molly the camel and my new friend
I love the zoo so much, I was sad to leave. But there’s good news! My team and I get to come back very soon! Mark your calendars, because Eat’n Park Family Week at the Zoo starts June 29th. I hope to see you there!


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Team Smiley Has an Extraordinary Time at the Extravaganza

Hi, Eat’n Park enthusiasts! This is your favorite Smiley Cookie writing to you. This past weekend, my crew and I were very, very busy! After visiting Penn State University on Friday and Pittsburgh’s Children’s Museum on Saturday, we spent Sunday afternoon at the Carnegie Library for their Summer Reading Extravaganza.

It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect weather for an outdoor event. We were positioned underneath the shade of a canopy of trees, surrounded by many other booths with fun offerings like face painting, puppet shows, and treats. My team and I brought plenty of our own favorite treat, Smiley Cookies!

A very happy guest with her Smiley Cookie
Our decorating stations were very popular, and so many of my friends iced their very own cookie. Even Kenny the Kangaroo, who lives at Kennywood, tried his hand at decorating.

Kenny the Kangaroo decorating his own Smiley Cookie
Most importantly, as the name states, the Reading Extravaganza promotes the continuation of learning and reading throughout the summer season. Just because school ends, doesn’t mean discovering new things should! The Carnegie library’s mascot was also there helping kids sign up for their first library card. I was so happy to join in the reading fun!


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Monday, June 17, 2013

New Summer Merchandise

Summer is here and so is our new Smiley merchandise! We’ve got stylish tees and mini beach balls that are sure to make you the life of any summer party.

Our mini beach balls provide hours of fun! They are perfect for any pool party or summer birthday. Plus, they’re only $1.50!

We also have Smiley tees for just $9.99 at select locations! Available for both children and adults, these tees are definitely a wardrobe must. T-shirts are available at the following Eat’n Park Locations:

• Beaver Valley Mall
• Belle Vernon
• Butler (Clearview)
• Cranberry
• Fox Chapel
• Grove City
• Indiana
• Latrobe
• McKnight Road at Ross Park Mall
• Monroeville
• Moon Twp.
• North Huntingdon
• Robinson
• Sewickley
• South Hills Village
• South Park
• Uniontown
• Washington
• Waterfront (Homestead)
• Whitehall

Smiley merchandise is limited, so stop in soon!

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Celebrate Smiley’s Birthday With 99-cent Kids' Meals!

Smiley’s Birthday is here, which means that all kids’ meals are just 99-cents*, now through July 14th. Plus, all kids who visit during his party will receive a special Smiley treat bag containing a Smiley tattoo, sticker, wristband, and their choice of apple, mini Smiley Cookie, or Smiley Cookie! 

But that’s not all. We had so much fun last year with our coloring contest that we decided to bring it back! So stop in to any Eat’n Park to get a coloring sheet, where kids can illustrate how they like to stay active. One winner from every restaurant will receive a Backyard Activity Kit, filled with all the makings of a fun, active summer – a basketball, jump rope, chalk, soccer ball, hula hoop, wiffle ball and bat, football, Frisbee, beach ball, and sunscreen.

Plus, one lucky grand prize winner will take home four Smiley bikes, so the whole family can stay active together.

Smiley will also be celebrating his birthday with his friends at the Pittsburgh Zoo and the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Saturday, June 29th, Smiley will be throwing out the first pitch at the Buccos game. All those in attendance will receive a scratch & win ticket for Eat’n Park!  And if you haven’t been to the zoo yet this summer, you should stop by during Eat’n Park Family Week, June 29 – July 8. It’s bound to be a good time!

And last, but certainly not least, Smiley will be making birthday appearances  at many of our locations - just click here to see if and when he’ll be visiting YOUR Eat’n Park.  Kids can personally wish Smiley a happy birthday, as well as decorate their very own Smiley Cookie.

Smiley’s Birthday ends on July 14, 2013.

*99-cent kids' meals not valid on breakfast and brunch buffets or on takeout. Guest check must include one adult meal. Kids' treat bags available while supplies last.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Dads, Grads, & Fish Smiley Cookies

Father’s Day is right around the corner. Not sure what to get Dad? How about an Eat’n Park gift card! Trust us, it will you’ll certainly earn bragging rights as “Dad’s Favorite Kid.” And don’t forget about grads! They love Eat’n Park gift cards too. How else are they going to fuel their late night study sessions?!


Need something else for Dad and Grads? How about a dozen of our Fish Smiley Cookies! That’s right – they’re back! They are perfect for any occasion, including graduation parties or picnics. But they’re only back for a limited time, so reel in your dozen today!


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Team Smiley at the Walk for Autism

Hi everyone! This is your favorite Eat’n Park Smiley Cookie writing to you.

This past weekend was our VERY first weekend of the summer out in the Pittsburgh community.  My crew for the summer, Team Smiley, and I were very busy bees! Our biggest event of the weekend was the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event on Saturday, June 1.  My Cookie Cruiser was parked right outside Stage AE on the North Shore along with many other vendors and tents. 



Team Smiley and I gave all of the children (and many adults) the opportunity to decorate their own MiniSmiley Cookie! That’s something you can only do with the Cookie Cruiser Crew.  It was a great success and stood for a great cause.



The Walk Now for Autism Speaks event is held in Pittsburgh annually to raise awareness of the “Autism Speaks” organization.  There were about 12,000 people in attendance that helped raise about $700,000 for the cause. 

One of my favorite memories from this day will always be the dance off.  Other celebrity characters, along with my cookie self, got to show off our dance moves in front of thousands of eyes and had so much fun.  The Cupid Shuffle is one of my personal favorites!  And at one point, I was the last cookie dancing; but I had a blast! This was a great event to be a part of and I’m glad I could share smiles with everyone there.  I’m already looking forward to next year!


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Meet Team Smiley

Summer is here, which means so is our batch of newest Team Smiley interns! This crew is about to commence their summer-long journey across the tri-state area, where they’ll be visiting fundraisers, festivals, races, and other community events from now through the fall. 

Team Smiley equals fun! Click here to see when they’ll be visiting your neighborhood, then stop by with the family to meet Smiley and enjoy a free Smiley Cookie – or even decorate one yourself!

Throughout the summer, you’ll be able to read about Team Smiley’s adventures here on our blog.  And, if you have the opportunity to meet them at an event, be sure to check out our Photo Gallery to find your photo!

So without further ado, here’s the scoop on our new Team Smiley!

From left to right: Caitlin, Lindsay, Maura, Katie, Courtney
Caitlin
Hi! My name is Caitlin and I just completed my junior year at Penn State where I am pursuing a degree in public relations. In my free time, I enjoy concert-going, baking, reading, swimming, and dabbling in photography. I really love engaging with people and spreading joy, and Team Smiley is an ideal means to do so. Being a fan of road trips, I’m looking forward to traveling the tri-state to aid in brightening people’s days! I’m so excited to interact with fellow Eat’n Park devotees. Some of my menu favorites include the Oreo Pie, Vanilla Latte Milkshake, and Chicken Noodle Soup, with my favorite Smiley Cookie shape being the summer fish!

Courtney
Hi everyone! My name is Courtney, and I am an Integrated Marketing Communications major at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. I will be a junior in the fall. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my friends and family, go swimming, browse Pinterest, and listen to music. I also love traveling, and some people might be surprised to learn that I am spending the first semester of the coming school year in London. My favorite meal at my local Eat’n Park is the Buffalo Chicken Wrap, but I also love the Oreo Pie (or any other menu item with Oreos, for that matter!). In terms of Smiley Cookies, my favorite has to be the Halloween Smiley because of the candy corn eyes and nose! I am thrilled to be working with Team Smiley this summer, and I am most looking forward to becoming involved with the community and decorating LOTS of Smiley Cookies!

Lindsay
Hi there! My name is Lindsay and I'm going to be a junior at Duquesne University in the fall. In my spare time, I like to sing, dance and play with my dogs. Something people would be surprised to know about me is that I traveled to Paris last spring and I'm going to Dublin in the fall. When I'm having a rough day, an Eat'n Park Chocolate Milkshake and Grilled Stickies always seem to cheer me up! I look forward to all the learning experiences Team Smiley has to offer and to see all the different places we will go!

Katie
Hi!  My name is Katie and I am currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, planning to graduate this August.  I am majoring in media and professional communications.  I’ve also worked at the McKnight Road Eat’n Park for almost four years now, so I’m really excited to be a part of Team Smiley this summer!  I'm really looking forward to the events at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, but I will also enjoy helping Eat’n Park’s smallest guests decorate their very own Smiley cookies.  It’s a really tough choice, but my absolute favorite thing to get at Eat’n Park is the Baked Chicken Bruschetta, finished off with a pink fish Smiley Cookie, of course!

Maura
Hi!!! My name is Maura and I just graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, and Broadcast Journalism.  I love horseback riding, baking cakes, the Steelers, and surprising people when I talk to them in a British accent (which I have perfected!).  My favorite thing to get at Eat’n Park is the Buffalo Chicken Salad, and of course, a Smiley Cookie for dessert! This summer, I am most looking forward to traveling around in the Cookie Cruiser with Smiley and the team so we can make the new people we meet smile!! 


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Monday, June 3, 2013

New & Returning Summer Specials

Our new summer specials have arrived and they are sure to tempt your taste buds.

Jump-start your appetite with our new Fried Pickle appetizer! Enjoy zesty breaded pickles fried to a golden perfection and served with our housemade Ranch dressing for dipping. $4.99

Next up is our S’mores Pancakes. They are everything you could imagine with the name S’mores. I’m talking two chocolate chip pancakes stuffed with fluffy marshmallow crème, topped with crumbled graham crackers and Hershey’s syrup. Add in your choice of bacon, sausage or turkey sausage and you’ve got one sweet deal. $5.99

We also have a new S’mores Sundae that features two scoops of premium vanilla ice cream layered with fluffy marshmallow topping, hot fudge, and graham cracker crumbs. YUM! $3.99

Our Habanero Chicken Sandwich will get you fired up. Featuring Spicy Cajun-seasoned chicken with our own jalapeno sauce, crisp lettuce, grilled bell peppers, habanero Jack Cheese, and thinly-sliced red onions, this dish packs a punch. Served with your choice of one side for $7.99. Or enjoy it on Saturday as part of our 7 days, 7 deals for just $7!

In the mood for a salad? Try our new Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad. Locally-grown tomatoes and marinated fresh mozzarella tossed with mixed greens and herb-grilled chicken. Drizzled with a balsamic glaze and served with our housemade Pesto Vinaigrette dressing for just $8.49. And it’s celiac-friendly!

Another new menu item we’re excited about? Our Bruschetta Alfredo! Slices of tender chicken breast baked in our Parmesan breadcrumb coating and served on spaghetti with creamy Alfredo sauce, bacon, our homemade bruschetta and Asiago cheese. It’s delicious! Served with garlic toast and a garden side salad for $9.99.



Or try our new Caramel Mlikshake featuring three premium scoops of dulce de leche ice cream and milk! $3.69

Returning Summer Menu Items

It wouldn’t be summer without some of our returning guest favorites. Read on to find out what’s back! (You can thank us later!)

FarmSource Veggie Omelette- Fresh, local tomatoes and green peppers (in season), onions, and your choice of cheese, stuff¬ed into a fluff¬y three-egg omelette. It doesn't get any fresher than this! Served with your choice of breakfast potatoes and toast for $7.29.

Baked Chicken Bruschetta – Herb-crusted baked chicken breast topped with our homemade Bruschetta, drizzled with a balsamic glaze, and fi¬nished with Asiago cheese. Featuring fresh, local tomatoes (in season). Served with your choice of two sides and homemade rolls for $8.99.

Fruit Salad - A sweet and juicy medley of six of the season’s ¬finest USDA #1 fruits with a scoop of sherbet or cottage cheese, and our exclusive creamy dipping sauce. Served with fresh-baked seasonal bread, all for $7.99. This dish is also Celiac-Friendly!

Stop in and try one (or all) of them today!

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

New! 7 Days, 7 Deals

Check it out – we have new $7 deals every day of the week. Each sandwich is served with your choice of one side for $7 on its featured day.


Sunday – Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Melted American, Swiss, and Pepper Jack cheeses and three strips of crispy bacon on our grilled bakery-fresh six grain bread.



Monday – Bacon Turkey Swiss
Roasted Butterball turkey, Swiss cheese, bacon, and tomato all served up on our grilled sourdough bread.





Tuesday – Turkey Club
Smoked turkey with American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.


Wednesday – Buffalo Chicken Wrap
A flour tortilla with bleu cheese or Ranch dressing wrapped around breaded chicken fillets tossed in our own Buffalo sauce, with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.




Thursday – NEW! California Chicken Salad Sandwich
Our homemade chicken salad featuring celery, onion, fresh grapes, and almonds.



Friday – Tuna Melt
Our homemade tuna salad made with StarKist® tuna, fresh green peppers, celery, onion, diced egg, relish, and mayo on our grilled house-baked Italian bread with melted cheddar, lettuce, and tomato.



Saturday – NEW! Habañero Chicken Sandwich
Spicy Cajun-seasoned grilled chicken with our own jalapeño sauce, crisp lettuce, and topped with grilled bell peppers, habañero Jack cheese, and thinly-sliced red onions.


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